No Time to Lose: A Search for Work / Life Balance

/unvermittelt [ … for a concept of labour beyond overwork and lack of work] by notimetolose

13 December 2008 – 1 February 2009
Opening: 12 December, 19 h


… for a concept of labour beyond overwork and lack of work

Participants: Absageagentur, bankleer, Bildwechsel, chto delat, Chor der Tätigen , city mine(d), Die Heilige Kirche der letzten drei Arbeitstage, G-bliss productions, Sascha Göttling, Institut für Primär-energieforschung , Kiez ->To Go, m7red , Karin Michalski / Renate Lorenz, Netzwerk Grund-einkommen, Private Emission Trade, Sabotage-agentur, unhaltbar/leere Versprechungen, UNWETTER, Malte Wilms, Zene na delu – und die Projektgruppe „/unvermittelt“ der NGBK: Danijela Cenan, Uli Ertl, Frauke Hehl, Rut Waldeyer und Nadine Wothe

About 50 activists, initiatives, artists, theorists and opinion leaders from throughout the world have been invited to redefine the concepts of work and of being active under the motto “practice, method, scope“. The project began in January 2008 with a series of lectures and workshops. Since August, a number of interventions have taken place in Berlin public space. From 13 December, the participants will be showing what they understand by a collaborative and mutually supportive space to think, explore the scope of possibilities and act, in the exhibition space at NGBK.

The exhibition presents both the processes involved – workshops, campaigns, radio and film productions, artists’ actions and political interventions in urban space, as well as the results – films, posters, songs and other acoustic works, sculptures and documentary material.

/unvermittelt will be accompanied by a publication in German. ISBN: 978-3-938515-21-1.

At the evening opening at NGBK the Chor der Tätigen will be singing pop-songs on the topic of work together with “Judiths Krise”.

/unvermittelt is a project of the New Society for Visual Arts, its patron is Berlin’s Senator for Integration, Labour and Social Issues Dr. Knake-Werner.

Catalogue ISBN: 978-3-938515-21-1

A few more book recommendations… by notimetolose
August 6, 2008, 11:41 am
Filed under: activism, ideas | Tags: ,

Thanks Monika!

Kusnet, David. Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America’s Best Workers Are Unhappier Than Ever. Wiley, 2008.

From the Inside Flap…

Why are so many of America’s most educated, skilled, and committed workers angrier than ever?

In Love the Work, Hate the Job, author David Kusnet follows workers through four conflicts in the trailblazing city of Seattle. At Boeing, aircraft engineers and technicians conducted the longest and largest strike by professionals in private industry in U.S. history, but their picket signs said they were “On Strike for Boeing.” At Microsoft, thousands of workers holding short-term positions founded their own Web site to protest being “perma-temps.” Still, they were almost as upset about their problems testing software as they were about their own precarious prospects. At a local hospital, workers complained that patient care was getting short shrift and organized with the nation’s fastest-growing union. And at Kaiser Aluminum, during a labor-manage-ment conflict that dragged on for two years, workers allied themselves with environmentalists to fight cutthroat corporate tactics.

Like their counterparts across the country, these workers cared about much more than money. Americans increasingly like the work they do but not the conditions under which they do it. In fact, a growing number of employees believe they care more about the quality of their products and services than the executives they work for. That’s why the workplace conflicts of the future will focus on model employees who were forced to become malcontents because they “care enough to get mad.”

Coming in the aftermath of the mass protests at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999, these conflicts point out the paradox of globalization. U.S. companies can compete most successfully by improving quality instead of just cutting costs. But penny-pinching practices can prevent their best workers from doing their best work, fueling workplace conflicts and depriving businesses of their single greatest advantage.

With powerful storytelling, revealing detail, and compelling analysis, Love the Work, Hate the Job offers provocative insights into today’s workplaces, tomorrow’s headlines, and Americans’ too-often thwarted aspirations to do their jobs better.

* * *

Bell, Daniel. Work and Its Discontents. Beacon Press, 1956.

I wasn’t able to find an summary of this book, but check out the date it was published. We are clearly not facing a new crisis; we’re just coming to the end of our ropes…

New Poll Shows Strong American Support for a Paid Vacation Law by notimetolose
July 7, 2008, 7:48 pm
Filed under: activism, ideas | Tags: , , , ,

Reposted from Take Back Your Time’s recent email dated July 7, 2008


Dear TAKE BACK YOUR TIME supporter:

Instead of this month’s newsletter, I’ve got some exciting news! Our brand new vacation poll (a scientific survey of 1,002 Americans by Opinion Resarch Corporation) found that 69% of Americans support a paid vacation law. Only 27% are opposed. We have nearly 3-1 support for our paid vacation law campaign–that’s huge!

And our brand new Web site: is now live! On the site you’ll find arguments for a paid vacation law, 37 colorful and humorous posters that you can print and put up in your offices to draw people’s attention to the campaign or email to friends, the most pertinent results from the poll (every demographic of Americans supports a law!).

Below, in this email, you’ll find a press release that you can send to all your local media (please do!) and to friends letting them know about the poll and the new Web site. Call your local radio stations and tell them about the poll as well! We are already getting interest in this from as far away as Ireland. Use the poll results to encourage your Congresspeople to support legislation guaranteeing paid vacation time for all Americans.

Let me know what you think of our Web site. Email me at And please, if you can, contribute to this campaign–you’ll see how to do it on the site. We are really poised to make a difference, but our funds are dangerously low. We truly need your help. If you believe in this campaign, contribute now.

Read the press release and forward it wherever you can!

Thanks so much!

John de Graaf
Executive Director


JULY 7, 2008


CONTACT: John de Graaf; (206) 443-6747



As the nation celebrated July 4th, a new poll found that most Americans don’t have or don’t feel they can take time for “the Pursuit of Happiness,” and more than two-thirds support a law that would guarantee paid vacations for American workers.

The scientific telephone sample of 1,002 Americans was conducted by The Opinion Research Corporation, a leading professional pollster, during the week of June 23, 2008.

The poll found 69% of Americans saying they would support a paid vacation law, with the largest percentage of respondents favoring a law guaranteeing three weeks vacation or more. Take Back Your Time advocates a three-week paid vacation law. Americans under 35 (83%), African-Americans (89%), Hispanic-Americans (82%), and low-income Americans (82%) were the strongest supporters of such a law, as were residents of the Northeast (75%) and the South (72%). 75% of women and 63% of men support a paid vacation law. 74% of families with children support such a law. Every demographic showed majority support for a law. Overall, only 27% of those polled were opposed to a paid vacation law.


Americans were asked how many weeks of vacation are best to prevent “burnout.” 52% said they need three weeks or more and 82% said they needed at least two weeks.

Disturbingly though, the survey showed that among working Americans, 28% took no vacation time at all last year, half took a week or less, and two-thirds got less than two weeks off. The median time off for all workers was 8.2 days, far below the three weeks that most cited as the optimum to prevent burnout, much less actually relax and enjoy themselves.

A growing body of evidence suggests that burnout is just one of the negative consequences of too little vacation time. Studies have firmly established that men who don’t take vacations are 32% more likely to die of heart attacks and women are 50% more likely. Lack of vacation time doubles rates of depression for women. After vacations, workers gain an hour per night of quality sleep and their reaction times are 30-40% faster, improvements that last for several months.

“American work-life is out of balance and this poll shows people know it,” said Cecile Andrews, chair of the Take Back Your Time board. “The only difference between dinosaurs and American vacations is that dinosaurs are already extinct. We are losing the breaks we need to stay healthy, avoid stress and bond with our families. It’s certainly a shame that neither Presidential candidate has addressed this issue. Maybe this poll will get them to take notice.”


Take Back Your Time has launched a new Web site—( promoting the idea of a paid vacation law.

Mixing hard science and a lighthearted touch to make a very serious case, the site includes the latest research on the impacts of too little vacation time, as well as more than two dozen humorous posters that can be downloaded, printed and posted to call attention to the campaign and ways to get involved.

“The site is fun, just like vacations are,” said Joe Robinson, author of Work to Live, and a leader of the campaign. “The United States is the only wealthy country without a paid vacation law. We’re the capital of burnout and it’s costing all of us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We can change that with a law guaranteeing vacations to workers. We need time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Fun is not a four-letter word. But this would actually make businesses more productive too.”

“Vacations are so important for family bonding,” said William Doherty, professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. “Some of the strongest memories from childhood involve family vacations. And yet, far fewer families are taking them now.”


“Take Back Your Time’s medical team has discovered a new disease that has rapidly been spreading throughout the US in recent years,” said Executive Director John de Graaf. “Ever notice that people seem crankier, there’s lots of road rage, we’re all impatient? Do you feel like screaming at your computer to hurry up sometimes? Nerves frazzled by overwork and constant rushing lead to angry snarls. We call it ‘Irritable Growl Syndrome.’ It’s definitely hard on Americans’ health and there’s no pill to cure it. Our workers need a real ‘pause that refreshes,’ and the most promising is more vacation time. Time to unwind from the ever-increasing stresses of the workplace.”

Take Back Your Time believes that the lack of vacation time in the United States is a serious problem, as the new poll indicates. A law guaranteeing paid vacations would allow us to catch up to other nations (for example, every European worker gets a minimum of four weeks paid vacation). It would lead to higher hourly productivity and reduce the escalating cost of health care, by making all Americans healthier. It’s not rocket science; it’s common sense. Every other wealthy country in the world realizes that.

Take Back Your Time can provide key experts for your radio programs or print stories. Just contact John de Graaf at: or (206) 443-6747 or Joe Robinson: Poll results (by July 3) at:

Project Skive Featured on Union Renewal Blog by notimetolose

Check this out! This is what the lightening speed of the internet is all about 😉

News has gotten around about the exhibition and that includes news about Abby’s contribution, “Project Skive.” We posted an image of her working on this blog, and — in a matter of days — I found it circulating as part of a very interesting blog, Union Renewal.

Check out Dirk’s very recent post right here:

Thank you for your support, Take Back Your Time! by notimetolose
June 18, 2008, 7:23 pm
Filed under: activism, ideas | Tags: , , , ,

I’m very happy to report enthusiastic support for No Time to Lose from the American work/life balance advocacy group, Take Back Your Time.

Shortly before departing for Aberdeen, the National Coordinator of TBYT, John de Graaf, expressed his interest in the exhibition and his willingness to help spread news about it to all of TBYT’s members. Thank you to him and the others involved with TBYT, and welcome to all of those who come upon this blog via TBYT’s recent newsletter.

Those of you who have not already had a chance to read it, can find it here:

While reading the newsletter, I came across this very interesting upcoming event in the United States…

“Conscious Consuming is excited to announce US National Downshifting Week, which Americans will celebrate from July 7-13th.  We were inspired to start US National Downshifting Week by the work of Tracey Smith, founder of National Downshifting Week in the UK.  Please share this event with your friends and family, and encourage them to visit us at and for information and a forum to share your ideas about how to Slow Down and Green Up!”

Even though I live in Canada, I think I’ll take that week to downshift a little, too =-)

Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork & Time Poverty In America by notimetolose

While stopping by Take Back Your Time’s website, I was prompted to repost some information about a very interesting book. Although the emphasis here is on life in America (in particular, the United States of America), the content surely applies to so many, many more places worldwide…

Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork & Time Poverty In America
By John de Graaf, Editor
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, July 2003.

Table of Contents


Introduction: TIME POVERTY AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT –John de Graaf, co-author, Affluenza

– AN ISSUE FOR EVERYBODY — Barbara Brandt, National Staffperson, The Shorter Work-Time Group, Boston
– THE (EVEN MORE) OVERWORKED AMERICAN — Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College and author of The Overworked American
– THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING VACATION — Joe Robinson, Director of the National Work To Live Campaign, Santa Monica, CA
– FORCED OVERTIME IN THE LAND OF THE FREE — Lonnie Golden, Professor of Economics, Penn State University

– OVERSCHEDULED KIDS, UNDERCONNECTED FAMILIES — Bill Doherty, Professor of Family Therapy, University of Minnesota, and Barbara Carlson, co-founder, Putting Family First, Minneapolis
– RECAPTURING CHILDHOOD — Betsy Taylor, Executive Director, The Center for a New American Dream, Takoma Park, Maryland
– WHAT ABOUT FLUFFY AND FIDO? — Camilla Fox, National Campaign Director, The Animal Protection Institute, Sacramento, CA

– WASTED WORK, WASTED TIME — Jonathan Rowe, Director of the Tomales Bay Institute, Pt. Reyes, CA
– TIME TO BE A CITIZEN — Paul Loeb, author, The Soul of a Citizen
– TIME AND CRIME — Charles Reasons, Professor of Law and Justice, Central Washington University

– AN HOUR A DAY (COULD KEEP THE DOCTOR AWAY) — Suzanne Schweikert, MD, Physician, San Diego, CA
– THE (BIGGER) PICTURE OF HEALTH — Stephen Bezruchka, MD, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle

– HASTE MAKES WASTE — David Wann, co-author, Affluenza
– THE SPEED TRAP — Robert Bernstein, Sierra Club Transportation Working Group, Santa Barbara, CA
– ON TIME, HAPPINESS AND ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINTS — Tim Kasser, Professor of Psychology, Knox College, Illinois, and Kirk Warren Brown, Professor of Psychology, University of Rochester, NY

– WHEN WE HAD THE TIME — Benjamin Hunnicutt, Professor of Leisure Studies, University of Iowa
– CAN AMERICA LEARN FROM SHABBAT? — Rabbi Arthur Waskow, The Shalom Center, Philadelphia

– ENOUGH-THE TIME COST OF STUFF — Vicki Robin, co-author, Your Money or Your Life, chair of The Simplicity Forum
– THE SIMPLE SOLUTION — Cecile Andrews, author of Circle of Simplicity and lecturer at Stanford University


– A JOB TO SHARE — Carol Ostrom, staff writer, The Seattle Times
– A NEW BOTTOM LINE — Irene Myers, Larry Gaffin, Barbara Schramm, career counselors
– WORKING RETIRED — Beverly Goldberg, Director of Publications, The Century Foundation and author of Age Works
– A CASE FOR SABBATICALS — Bob Sessions, Professor of Sociology at Kirkwood College, Iowa, and Lori Ericson, freelance writer
– AMERICA NEEDS A BREAK — Karen Nussbaum, director of the Women’s Division, and Chris Owens, Director of Public Policy, The AFL-CIO
– IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR BUSINESS TOO — Sharon Lobel, Professor of Business and Management, Seattle University

– RECIPES FOR CHANGE — Anna Lappe, food activist and co-author, Hope’s Edge, New York City
– TIME BY DESIGN — Linda Breen Pierce, author of Choosing Simplicity, Carmel, CA

– EUROPE’S WORK-TIME ALTERNATIVES — Anders Hayden, author of Sharing The Work, Sparing The Planet
– A POLICY AGENDA FOR TAKING BACK TIME — Jerome Segal, Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland
– WHAT’S AN ECONOMY FOR? — David Korten, former professor at Stanford and Harvard Business Schools and author of When Corporations Rule The World


– ORGANIZING TAKE BACK YOUR TIME DAY IN YOUR COMMUNITY — Sean Sheehan, Outreach Director of the Center for a New American Dream
– HOW TO DO A TEACH-IN OR A SPEAK-OUT — Cecile Andrews and John de Graaf
– HOW TO REACH YOUR LOCAL MEDIA — Eric Brown, Director of Communications of the Center for a New American Dream

No Time to Lose… opening soon! by notimetolose
June 3, 2008, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Aberdeen, activism, artists, contemporary art, exhibition, updates, videos | Tags: , , , ,

No Time to Lose @ Peacock Visual Arts

21 Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5BQ
Phone: +44 1224 639539 // Fax: +44 1224 627094 //

13 June – 26 July
Preview Thursday 12 June 6 – 8pm

Open Tuesday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.30pm.
Admission free

‘No Time to Lose’ is a response to the systemic decline of personal time being experienced by people in various parts of the world due to increased hours spent working. Through an exhibition and program of events, it draws attention to the unsustainability of social and economic systems that do not afford people sufficient time outside of work. It also addresses the individual and civic costs associated with insufficient time to attend to health, relationships, community, and politics.

‘No Time to Lose’ is envisioned as a contribution to global efforts directed at motivating and mobilizing people to trust their instincts and take back their time. As such, it features artwork that encourages audiences to disengage from their stressful routines and consider what they are losing because of an unbalanced lifestyle. Additionally, projects suggest how individuals might be able to make changes for the better.

‘No Time to Lose’ seeks to facilitate participation for a range of audiences. For example, gallery visitors will have the chance to engage in exploration and conversation, while unsuspecting individuals can experience moments of difference by encountering performance and/or installation-based interventions deployed in public spaces. Audiences from other distant cities will also be able to participate through online forums designed to foster solidarity across geographical borders.

‘No Time to Lose’ offers new and recent work by international artists. Projects involve performance, installation, video, and new media, as well as interdisciplinary and collaborative practices.

Curated by: Milena Placentile (Canada)

Featured Artists: Amy Alexander (USA), Cathy Busby (Canada), Anja Hertenberger (Germany/Netherlands) & Anja Steidinger (Germany/Spain), Saki Satom (Japan/UK), Abigail Schoneboom (UK/USA), and Tobaron Waxman (Canada/USA).

With deepest thanks to our supporters: the Scottish Arts Council, the City of Aberdeen, The Henry Moore Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, the City University of New York, Van Lier Fellowship administered by Harvestworks, and


Preliminary Schedule…


— 13 June to 19 July: Anja Hertenberger & Anja Steidinger, Saki Satom, Abigail Schoneboom
— 22 to 26 July: Tobaron Waxman

— 13 June to 26 July: Cathy Busby [at a library, to be announced shortly]
— 20 June: Amy Alexander [evening intervention, locations to be announced]

Cineclub (Four short films):

— Tuesday 8 July, 7pm. (Entry FREE)
*** Work [Kika Thorne, 1999]
*** The Measure of Success [Coleen Finlayson & Cherie Moses, 1987]
*** A Cure for Being Ordinary [Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, 2005]
*** Dreams of the Night Cleaners [Leila Sujir, 1996]
Total running time: Just over one hour